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13 April 12:37 pm

In honor of Friday the 13th, the players of Montreal Impact were asked what superstitions they have before game time.

Superstitions in the world of sports generally are a result of pre-game rituals which have turned into habit.

Some say athletes are creatures of habit, and if that’s true, these creatures’ habits include: 90’s hip-hop, a propensity to their lower left limbs, and gorging on Gummi Bears.

See for yourself:

13 April 12:22 pm

It doesn't get much better than this for soccer fans in Houston -- well, until BBVA Compass Stadium actually opens its doors that is.

Just a month remains until the Dynamo become the latest MLS side to play in their own venue, which is looking better and better by the day.

Check out this local news report to get a glimpse of the club's new locker room and a handful of the views that Houston fans can look forward to on May 12 against D.C. United. Safe to say there is going to be a lot of envious fans out there.

13 April 12:03 pm

Sans manque de considération pour les autres, deux rencontres attireront toute l’attention ce week-end : Kansas City – Salt Lake et New York – San José.

L’autoritaire leader va recevoir un de ses dauphins actuels qui compte lui ravir ses premiers points pour un duel entre formations qui aiment jouer haut et faire le jeu. Salt Lake a tout intérêt à se méfier car il a encaissé ses quatre buts cette saison sur attaque posée. Jason Kreis a d’ailleurs décidé de revoir ses plans tactiques avant ce déplacement périlleux. Pour son homologue Peter Vermes, la clef d’une sixième victoire consécutive sera d’avoir le dessus sur les deuxièmes ballons.

Pour vous mettre dans le bain, lisez le comparatif secteur par secteur (en anglais) effectué par Simon Borg.

Le choc de la Red Bull Arena sera celui des buteurs. Chris Wondolowski, qui porte à lui seul l’attaque californienne, se sent prêt à concurrencer le duo Henry – Cooper. Il voudra aussi profiter d’une défense new yorkaise affaiblie par la blessure de Conde.

Pour vous mettre en appétit, vous pourrez regarder Philadelphie en quête de sa première victoire, contre Columbus samedi en début d’après-midi sur NBC Sports Network. Et pour digérer le tout, il y aura dimanche sur Galavision le duel entre les deux équipes qui ont le moins joué cette saison, Chicago et Houston.

LE PROGRAMME COMPLET
Samedi 14 avril
15h30 : Philadelphie - Columbus
16h00 : New England - DC United
16h00 : Seattle - Colorado
16h30 : Toronto - Chivas USA
19h00 : New York - San José
20h30 : Dallas - Montréal
20h30 : Kansas City - Salt Lake
22h30 : LA Galaxy - Portland
Dimanche 15 avril
19h00 : Chicago - Houston

Toutes les heures HE (heure de New York et Montréal)
Rendez-vous ici pour la disponibilité des matchs sur MLS Live et les diffuseurs locaux
Hors États-Unis et Canada, vous pouvez voir des matchs de MLS via ces diffuseurs ou LiveSport.tv

12 April 7:15 pm

Oh, that Jimmy Conrad. He's had a good life on the soccer field.

He played in the World Cup.

He captained Chivas USA.

Oh, and he beat Chelsea when Jose Mourinho was their manager. 

12 April 4:57 pm

With wins over Columbus, Philadelphia and Chicago in 3 of their first 4 games to start the 2012 MLS Season, Colorado seemed to be moving in the right direction. Unfortunately, that all came to a halt this past weekend when RSL ran rampant in the second half, possibly in part to a makeshift formation.

Drew Moor played midfield for the first time since I don’t know when and Tyrone Marshall filled in as if everything was just fine and dandy. Moor played alright – with 87 touches (second most among all players), winning nine of his 13 duels and completing 44 of 59 passes (75 percent). All in all, he was quite active.

Now let’s dig a little deeper and examine some graphics produced by the Opta Chalkboards that show Moor’s presence (in the defensive third), in every game so far this season. Let’s select clearances, blocks and interceptions by Moor in Colorado’s first five games and what Marshall did when he filled in vs RSL.

You can see what Marshall did – or didn’t do – against RSL (he has #34 inside his circles), but can you pick the corresponding image for Moor in that game as well?

If you haven’t guessed which graphic represents Moor’s production from the Real Salt Lake game, it’s the top right. Marshall’s clearances, blocks and interceptions vs RSL are shown in the bottom right image.

Put together the images from both players’ vs RSL and it still doesn’t equal the defensive production Drew Moor has had in any previous game this season.  Colorado has to make adjustments soon because Moor’s absence on the backline could prove to be quite costly over time.

(Image below) CBAI’s for Zapata, Marshall, Wynne and Kimura vs RSL

Playing Together? – Larentowicz and Moor’s Positioning vs RSL

As seen in the graphic below, Colorado lined up in a 4-5-1 formation with Drew Moor and Jeff Larentowicz playing as duel holding midfielders.

If this was the plan from Head Coach Oscar Pareja, everything went awry. After playing around with the Opta Chalkboards, you can see that Larentowicz and Moor played much different roles. The image below shows all passes completed by the two midfielders from box-to-box – Larentowicz on the left and Moor on the right.

Larentowicz seemed to play his normal role regardless, but Moor acted as if he was told to play right mid. How do players – that start the game in similar positions – end up with completely different outcomes?

12 April 2:25 pm

Avec sept points sur quinze (pris lors de ses trois rencontres à domicile), on ne peut pas dire que Dallas a raté son début de saison. Pourtant, trois joueurs dont on attendait une importante contribution sont restés muets jusqu’à présent.

De retour d’une saison blanche, le joueur désigné David Ferreira est à nouveau blessé. Quant au duo composé de Brek Shea et Andrew Jacobson - respectivement meilleur buteur et meilleur donneur de passes décisives du club en 2011 - il n’a été impliqué dans aucun but.

Shea, troisième au palmarès du Joueur de l’année 2011, a été absent durant la campagne américaine ratée des éliminatoires des JO 2012. Mais le milieu gauche s’est réveillé lors du dernier quart d’heure contre New England.

Le cas Jacobson est plus compliqué : délaissé l’an dernier après un début de campagne pourtant tonitruant, il n’a encore manqué aucune minute de jeu cette saison, ce qui n’empêche pas son entraîneur de déplorer son manque de régularité. Cet ancien joueur de Lorient, à la fois technique (il a participé à la Coupe du monde de futsal 2008) et athlétique, a été mis à plusieurs sauces depuis le début de l’année.

Shea et Jacobson comptent rapidement à nouveau se faire remarquer par autre chose que leur coupe de cheveux, et prêter main forte à Blas Pérez, principale force offensive de Dallas cette saison, et Jackson, que le club vient de rappeler de Cruzeiro.

12 April 12:34 pm

They are the type of things you find out after a player retires.

RSL head scout Andy Williams and team broadcaster Brian Dunseth went to their local Salt Lake CW studios to participate in a discussion about the sexes. In the process, they revealed personal details about relationships that not even their former teammates probably know.

First Dunseth: He's a cuddler, his wife delivered a child without pain medication and he thinks it's excessive to see certain intimacy in public like people "draped around their loved ones like a backpack."

Meanwhile, Williams is not scared of kissing in public. Find out more below:

12 April 12:10 pm

In case you missed it, filmmaker Spike Lee made a recent visit to Red Bull Arena to visit his good friend and New York Knicks sideline seat buddy Thierry Henry (see the video below).

But Mr. New York himself decides to show up in his Arsenal jersey. Here's hoping that Henry has it in his heart to gift him a signed Red Bulls jersey or two.

11 April 8:07 pm

Add Thomas Delaney to the US national team watch list.

He's 20 years old and already has the UEFA Champions League experience, which USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann has issued as a priority for American players.

More importantly, the FC Copenhagen midfielder is eligible for a US national team switch and had a conversation with US Olympic Team coach Caleb Porter. He says that he could entertain it if things don't work out with the national team of Denmark.

Read more about him in this article.

11 April 7:27 pm

US men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann may not have delved too deeply into the Olympic team's issues during CONCACAF qualifying, but one former US World Cup player did not shy away from the topic.

Former Chivas USA and USMNT midfielder John O'Brien, who played in a 4-3-3 formation during his time in the Netherlands, noticed problems with the tactics that Caleb Porter's Olympic team employed against El Salvador in the match in which they suffered humiliating elimination.

“You know in a 4-3-3 you’ll have a lot of players in front of the ball, and I noticed that they lost the ball easy and didn’t have guys in the right spaces,” O’Brien told Soccer America. “When they scored the equalizer, for a team that needs a result at that moment, we were very exposed. There weren’t many people behind the ball.”

O'Brien makes interesting points in the article, which continue to fuel the debate as to whether the 4-3-3 was to blame for the ouster.